Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Making the Superpipe


The month of January has brought Okemo a real up and down weather pattern.  Real cold weather, a quick mid-January thaw with some precipitation both liquid and snow and now some colder weather.  Everyone has noticed the snowmaking that has been done on the slopes, but we also have been working real hard to get our Amp Energy Superpipe up and open.  I’m so proud to say that after a lot of hard work from our Mountain Operations staff, the pipe opened on Saturday 1/18.  Okemo has the only halfpipe open in the East

The Amp Energy Superpipe measures 500 feet in length, there are 18-foot high walls and a span of 54 feet between decks. The slope angle is 16 degrees.  We did this with a depth of 14 feet of snow under the bottom of the pipe at the high end. The total amount of snow required to build the Amp Energy Superpipe was 51 acre-feet, which required more than 10 million gallons of water.  Yes that would fill a lot of swimming pools.

Putting the finishing touches on the Amp Energy Superpipe
This superpipe project is a huge undertaking overseen by Eb Kinney Okemos Director of Mountain Operations. Snowmaking began on December 27th and work on the construction with the snowcats began on December 30th.  After the first wall is built, the team cuts the vertical side with a chainsaw and it is shaped with an excavator. By doing this the process is sped up when the Zaugg pipe cutter is put into the pipe.  Between beginning snowmaking and final shaping, it took 22 days, 8 hours of excavator shaping, 140 hours of snowcat and even more man hours to get the Amp Energy Superpipe up and going. 

Many thanks to the Mountain Operations team for taking on the challenge and making it happen out on the slopes.

Let me know how we are doing.  Email at

Bruce Schmidt

Okemo GM

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